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Anti-Immigrant to Blacks: Go back to Africa By Eric Ward, Guest Commentator
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While separated by a span of two hundred years, Dan Stein the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the American Colonization Society (ACS) founded in 1816 have something in common. They both want blacks to go back to Africa.

Most of Liberia’s political struggles today are the result of ACS, a U.S. organization that finally shut its doors in 1964. Last Friday the Associated Press reported that Liberia’s democratically elected president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told a Minnesota audience that “. . . the country is making great progress on rebuilding infrastructure, debt relief and education after a 14-year civil war.”

The United States should celebrate this progress, not by turning our backs on a country we helped to create, but by supporting Liberia’s move towards a multi-ethnic democratic society. We accomplish this by supporting those black refugees among us, not forcing them out of the United States into a country that is not yet completely stable.

Recently the Obama administration recognized that the nation of Liberia is still stabilizing after two bloody civil wars, when he extended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of Liberian refugees in the United States for a 12-month period. The extension also served to protect black families in the United States who would have been ripped apart by the forced deportations that would have occurred.

In the weeks leading up to the extension of TPS for Liberians, the only opposition to it appeared in the form of the notorious anti-immigrant organization the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Ignoring information provided by the U.S. State Department on the current status of Liberia, Stein flippantly told CNN “It is time for people to go back and rebuild their country.”

CNN reported that Stein went further stating that “. . . for Liberians to stay when their country is at peace would be an abuse of U.S. hospitality.” While Stein and FAIR falsely claim in public that the organization is only concerned with “illegal” immigration, this is not the first time that Stein has attacked refugees of African descent.

In the winter 1991-1992 issue of the white nationalist publication Social Contract Press, Stein argues that Haitian refugees fleeing a military coup that resulted in the overthrow of the democratic government should be sent back. In the midst of the Haitian crisis Stein callously titled his essay “Haitians Should Follow the Rules.” Social Contract Press is produced by Wayne Lutton, a leader with Council of Conservative Citizens, the reconstituted white citizens’ councils of the 1960s.

Unsurprisingly FAIR is designated a hate group by the civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center which publishes annual listings of such organizations. One of the reasons listed is FAIR’s acceptance of 1.2 million dollars from the Pioneer Fund, a group that works to prove that blacks are inferior to whites because of genetics.

The Pioneer Fund supported much of the research used in the pseudo-scientific book, The Bell Curve which attempted to argue that blacks were less intelligent than whites. Many board members of the Pioneer Fund were opposed to the 1960s civil rights movement including founding director Wickliffe Preston Draper who also funded efforts to force blacks back to Africa.

Nearly 200 years ago the American Colonization Society (ACS) was created to deal with the so-called “black problem” in the United States, established the country of Liberia. Blatantly ignoring the indigenous Africans already living in the territory, ACS decided that the solution for maintaining white supremacy was to remove to Liberia those blacks who had been formerly enslaved in the U.S. Predictably, ACS support included white Southerners who were afraid of “black revolt” and whites who feared black competition in the Northern economy.

In that time not much has changed. Hate groups like FAIR and their leaders like Dan Stein continue to rail about the dangers of revolt and economic competition. The only difference is that they’ve simply substituted the terms “illegal” and “refugees” for Negro. Guest Commentator, Eric Ward, is currently the national field director with the Center for New Community based in Chicago. He began his evolution as a human rights leader in 1989 in the Pacific Northwest. A former staff member with the non-profit organization Clergy and Laity Concerned (CALC), Eric founded and directed a community project designed to expose and counter hate groups and respond to bigoted violence. Eric began this work during a period when the national white supremacist movement was shifting its focus from the South to the Pacific Northwest. He is the editor of three published works: Conspiracies: Real Grievances, Paranoia and Mass Movements; Second Civil War: States Rights, Sovereignty and the Power of the County and American Armageddon: Religion, Revolution and the Right. Click here to contact Mr. Ward.


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April 16 , 2009
Issue 320

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Executive Editor:
Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield
Peter Gamble
Est. April 5, 2002
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